The Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L is a powerful upscale 15-inch laptop designed to be thin, light and aggressive. Aluminum-clad, sleek and highly portable, this Aspire 5 laptop is ready for all-day off the plug work. Its 360-degree hinges, backlit keyboard, long battery life, and affordable price point make it ideal for students and budget buyers.
- Simple but sturdy built
- Plenty of ports
- Full HD display with IPS panel
- Comfortable keyboard
- Decent battery life
- Fast performance
- Affordable price tag
- Light and compact
- Average touchpad
- Meager 128GB SSD storage
- 4GB memory is on the lower side
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L comes from Acer’s new line up called the Acer Aspire 5. The new Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L is a well-equipped configuration that features a Ryzen 3 chip, Vega 3 graphics, 4GB RAM, and 128GB solid-state drive storage. It is a great alternative to Chromebooks considering it costs almost similar to one.
There are more than a few laptops with almost similar features albeit slightly different price points. That means the Acer Aspire 5 will be battling among worthy competition including some of its own brand laptops (Acer Aspire E5 E5-576-392H). In this review, we find out how it stacks against others in its wake. Check out the Intel version(Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-30BQ) of this unit here.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L Specs
|Screen size||15.6 – inch|
|Display||Full HD IPS|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U|
|Graphics Card||Vega 3 Graphics|
|Operating System||Windows 10 in S Mode|
|Dimensions||14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches|
Design and Features
The design of the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19Lis simple. Acer combined a plastic bezel to a metallic all-aluminum deck and exterior to make an impressive rigid and sturdy device. The contrast of the plastic and light grey deck and chassis is dazzling. The ant-glare metal surface feels smooth and textured (sandblasted) and keeps reflections down to a minimal. It’s not the only available color.
We loved that the notebook has slim bezels that make the device appear smarter. It’s a welcome leap in technology and fashion in the right direction. One of the other aspects that make the Aspire 5 stand out is its weight. At 3.9 pounds, it’s assuring to know this device is no backbreaker. It measures 0.71 x 14.3 x 9.9 inches (HWD), much slimmer than its predecessor, that’s 1.2 inches thick and clad in black plastic. The Acer Swift 5 (2.2 pounds) is lighter making it easier to toss in your backpack and carry it around without much effort. The HP Spectre x360 still holds its lofty position as among the thinnest ultrabook so, not even our unit beats it. But it’s good to know it comes close to this coveted hybrid device.
On opening the Acer Aspire 5’s lid, you’re greeted with a 15.6-inch Full JD (1920 by 1080) display. The display rests on an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel which delivers great viewing angles. For the most part, screen panels use IPS technology apart from instances where the laptop is specially made for gaming. IPS technology allows image quality to be excellent with crisp text and vivid colors. The screen also has a matte finish that reduces glare from ambient light. That means you can use the laptop without much worry about sunlight reflections on the non-touch screen.
Above the display, right at the center of the top bezel, there is a 720p webcam. It’s good to know the webcam isn’t on the bottom edge corner or the center of the bottom bezel. That means you won’t have any trouble with the webcam being up to your nose on video chats like it is one other premium laptops. It was also pleasing to know that the webcam is somewhat clear, with slightly grainy video quality. The webcam doesn’t come with IR sensors as with some secure laptops. It lacks IR sensors to allow you to log in to your Windows 10 account using face recognition
The port selection on the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L is healthy. The port options include a power connector, full-size Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one with power-off charging) and two USB 2.0 ports. You can use the two USB 2.0 ports for your external keyboard and wireless mouse while the HDMI port for external monitor setup.
Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support. Acer hid the speakers at the bottom of the system. The downward-firing speakers offer quality bass, and ample volume enough to fill a room. However, with down-firing speakers, the sound is always a bit muffled especially when placed on one’s lap or desk. Nonetheless, for the price, the speakers are above par.
Acer included an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, a lower mid-range processor for notebooks. The processor comes with two cores instead of the usual four cores and has a base clock speed of 2.6GHz and 3.5 GHz on Turbo. In real-world performance, the Ryzen 3 3200U is a capable processor for use in daily computing chores such as web surfing, writing essays, spreadsheet calculations, media playback, and similar.
If you’re going to be dealing with heavier computing tasks such as professional photo editing or rendering then this CPU might not do you much. You need the Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 processors. The Ryzen 3 3200U also sports a basic Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics card. The Vega 3 is capable of running many popular games at lowered graphics and resolution settings. That says a lot about its gaming prowess. If you’re an avid gamer and want the best frame rates for gaming, then a laptop with the Ryzen 5 processor is a much better option.
Memory and Storage
Other features you’ll find inside are a 4GB DDR4 memory and 128GB Solid-state drive storage. I know 4GB memory looks like it’s on the lower side. But remember this laptop is going to be handling some none-demanding tasks such as web surfing, doing assignments, spreadsheets and watching YouTube videos. Out of all these tasks, the worst might be opening more than a few tabs on YouTube which the laptop might honestly not be able to handle. Other than that, the device feels snappy enough for most undemanding tasks and should work just fine. If you think you might encounter some graphic intensive work in the future, however, consider upgrading to at least 8GB memory.
As far as storage goes, 128GB SSD is a pretty sweet amount for storage. First, the SSD ensures the laptop boots in seconds and loads software quickly. The 128GB can hold more than 15,000 average size photos or songs, a few movies and games. However, if you need storage for heavier files such as games or multimedia, we recommend going for the conventional 1TB hard drive storage. That’s because Solid-state drives aren’t cheap. You could also invest in cloud storage like Google drive.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L lacks a few special features like the fingerprint reader but the keyboard is still great. First off, the keyboard is well spread out throughout the deck and with the 15.6-inch display, you can rest assured there is a number pad present. The keys are all great, save for one weird aspect. The keyboard shift key is almost half the length of the space bar. We couldn’t seem to figure out why but since it works well, I guess that’s for you to judge. On the whole, though, the keyboard keys provide nice, tactile feedback. The Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L gets a backlit keyboard that’s comfortable to use. It lacks a built-in fingerprint reader like the Lenovo Flex 14 81SS0005US, a budget 2-in-1 laptop we reviewed recently.
Meanwhile, the 4.2 x 3.1-inch touchpad is also responsive and works with Windows precision drivers to make hand gestures possible. Its surface is smooth and the pad allows fingers to glide over it easily. It’s responsive to touch even at the corners where most touchpads are not as sensitive. Our main concern though is that the pad lacks tracking precision, which means you’ll have some trouble dragging onscreen elements. We recommend buying a mouse to cover you especially if you need precision in your daily productivity. Our best mouse under 20 dollars article guide might be helpful.
The battery lasts up to 7 hours 20 minutes on a single charge. It’s an excellent amount of time considering it can easily almost take you through a whole day of work or college. Further, you shouldn’t have a problem getting more than 8 hours with the Acer Aspire 5 provided you keep the brightness down.
A well-made all-rounder
There are more than a few reasons to be happy with the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L. It’s compact, slim and lightweight making it ideal for commuting to school/college or work. The Aspire 5 fewer tradeoffs than we’ve seen for a while now and more advantages. The device offers a matte IPS Full HD display, an AMD Radeon 3 3200U processor, 4GB memory, 128GB SSD storage, and a long-lasting battery. The battery life alone makes it a serious contender for the best hybrid ultraportable crown. Ultimately, what adds the final touch of desire to this laptop is its price tag. The price helps it appeal to end-users as a budget hybrid laptop within price reach for most students and for basic home/office use.
Is there a better alternative?
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L features a reasonable price and rich amount of hardware at that affordable price such that it’s hard to say no to it. But is there a better alternative? Well, you would be hard-pressed to find one with an all-day battery life and an affordable price point. But if you can stretch your budget just a little bit more there are alternatives with better CPUs (Intel Core i5-8250U processors), more memory (8GB), and storage (256GB SSD). The Dell G3 3579, Asus VivoBook 15, Acer Aspire E5 E5-576-392H and Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54-51DJ) are great options if you can top up on the cash.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If you don’t have graphic-intensive tasks then the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L is a good fit for you. However, if you do plan to handle a lot more intensive workloads such as photo and video rendering, and perhaps some gaming, then this unit might not deliver. You need a better processor with at least the Intel i5-8250U processor inside. On the whole, we recommend the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L for users looking for more screen estate, crispier displays, and generally affordable laptops for basic tasks and college work.